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ITB Destination Day 2

Destinations, Wellness

March 9, 2018

10:45 - 16:45

Convention Hall 7.1a, Auditorium New York 3


The ITB Destination Days are dedicated to the challenges and perspectives of international destination management.

Hosted by:

Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker


10:45 - 11:00

Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker

Enormous dams, giant canals: Nicaragua is planning a canal, the likes of which the world has never seen. If it follows Panama’s example, it could become a top tourist attraction in the Americas. Apart from its economic and political significance, does this project support sustainability at all – and is it conducive to the tourism industry? Countless visitors were fascinated by the tremendous scale of the Itaipú power plant which opened in 1984. Has this mega-project, with its huge dam between Brazil and Paraguay, now a symbol for environmentally-friendly energy generation, or is it actually a big disappointment which is now showing its age? Which path will Nicaragua take to develop its future canal into an example for acceptable interventions in ecological and social habitats? Are these kinds of mega-projects even acceptable today – and are they tourism-friendly? Has the Latin American tourism industry benefited from such projects, and if so, how?

Moderated by:
Andreas M. Gross, President, ARGE Lateinamerika e.V.

Panel guests:
Teresa Espinola, Director General of Tourism Products, SENATUR
John Garry, Account Director, Lieb Management & Beteiligungs GmbH
Angela Giraldo, Head of Training & Consulting Partner, TourCert
Matthias Sorke, Area Manager, Studiosus
Dr. Guido Spadafora, Ambassador of Panama in Germany
Immanuel Zerger, General Manager, Soletiname Tours Nicaragua

Turkey’s destination marketing is being completely redesigned. Which USPs will be highlighted in the future? How does the Turkish travel industry see the source market Germany and how is the vision implemented in their most important source market Germany as well as in other source markets?

Moderated by:
Hüseyin Baraner, Foreign Operations Representative, TÜRSAB (Turkish Association of Travel Agents)

Panel guests:
Osman Ayik, President, Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED)
Dietmar Gunz, Group Managing Director, FTI GROUP
Songül Göktaş-Rosati, Managing Director, Öger Tours
Günter Ihlau, Member of the Foreign and Group Tourism Committee, German Travel Association (DRV)
İrfan Önal, Director General for Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic Turkey

-in cooperation with DIHK and the German Startups Association-

Congested roads, long lines for attractions, overcrowded public squares and beaches, rising rental and real estate prices – too many travelers bring not only life into destinations, but also a range of problems. And this doesn’t only happen in the “overtourism” destinations which are often cited, like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Venice. Crowds of visitors can become a problem in other cities and touristic regions as well. Data and digital tools for “smart destinations” can help manage the crowds – from intelligent systems which help drivers find parking places to virtual experiences. Digital tourism experts, including specialists in the “Smart City & Region” area present ideas and discuss suggestions for tourism destinations and also clarify the potential stumbling blocks and requirements.

Moderated by:
Dr. Ulrike Regele, Director Commerce and Tourism, DIHK (German Chamber of Industry & Commerce)

Panel guests:
Bastian Kneissl, CEO & Founder, MapCase Media GmbH, Chairman of the Professional Travel Startups Group, German Startup Association
Thorsten Rudolph, Managing Director, Hochschwarzwald Tourismus GmbH
Gerald Swarat, Head of Berlin office & Project Coordinator for Smart Rural Areas, Fraunhofer IESE

The boom in the Muslim travel market will continue in the future. The multi-billion market is increasingly characterized by affluent, digital-savvy millennials. Which offers does this growing customer group expect, and how should the group be approached? Using the latest study results, insiders discuss how this attractive share of the market can be developed.

Moderated by:
Fazal Bahardeen, CEO, Crescent Rating & HalalTrip

Panel guests:
Shaji Abu Salih, Area Director of Sales & Marketing, Shaza Hotels
Carel Stadler, Trade & Partnership Manager, Cape Town Tourism
Raudha Zaini, Marketing Manager, HalalTrip

Video consumption has skyrocketed over the past few years, as a matter of fact, 70% of all web traffic is now for video content. All of the major social media outlets encourage video sharing. Facebook even skews their algorithm in favor of video, showing it to more people organically. Companies that do not yet produce videos for social media are losing out on a great opportunity. How can destinations best leverage the mega trend video marketing? What types of video content should you be developing and how to get it in front of those interested in visiting your destination? Make sure to arrive early as this session will likely be standing room only.

Introductory presentation:
Mike Shubic, professional travel video blogger,

Moderated by:
Matthias Morr, Video Blogger & Cruise Influencer,

Panel guests:
Heli Jimenez, Director, Head of Marketing, Visit Finland
Simon Jones, Client Services Director, Digital Visitor
Mike Shubic, professional travel video blogger,

Too many destinations are still concerned with logos and advertising slogans, while the digital world has been shouting for other content for a long time. Voice, as well as the selfie-posting behavior, are changing the perspective. Nothing can be gained through plain self-representation anymore. Customers are taking over the marketing of destinations. For the growing target group of the experienced travel consumers Instagrammability plays a substantial role when choosing a destination. If you’re not on board you’ll be checked off the list. How do DMOs have to change to meet the challenges? How can events be created so that modern tourists can report in real time to their followers on their digital channels and platforms?

Christoph Engl, Managing Director, BrandTrust